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  CNN    CNN Saturday Morning    News  News/Business. News, sports,  
   weather and entertainment news. New.  

    December 8, 2012
    5:00 - 6:30am PST  

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learner's permit? do any of you have learner's permits? where were we with the top ten signs your dog is a bad driver. >> he used your car to mount a nissan sentra. the number one sign your dog is a bad driver, always taking eyes off road to lick himself. >> reporter: being trained to drive with treats is sure to have dogs heading for the closest drive-through. do you want to be the designated driver? who wants tonight designated driver tonight? >> definitely not napoleon. driving is his waterloo. jeanne moos, cnn. i said hit the brake, not eat the cake. new york. >> too funny. thanks for starting your morning with us. we've got much more ahead on "cnn saturday morning" which saturday right now. good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. victor blackwell is off today. it's 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 out west. thanks for starting your day
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with us. we start with syria and a plan for dealing with the country's chemical weapons. president obama has threatened action if chemical weapons are used, and now we have learned that the pentagon is updating military options for the president. we'll have more on the president's red line and the military options in about ten minutes. belize will have to wait a little longer to question former internet mogul john mcafee about his neighbor's murder. a judge in guatemala says mcafee can remain in the country until his immigration case is heard in court. well, that could take another month. mac afee is recovering after be a apparent collapse. he had been on the run for weeks but insists he has nothing to do with his neighbor's death. charlie crist announced friday on twitter he's officially a democrat. crist spoke at the democratic national convention in september as an independent. he ran for the u.s. senate two years ago as an independent but lost to marco rubio and served as governor of florida as a republican. sum are speculating crist made this latest move in preparation
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for a run against incumbent florida governor rick scott in 2014. lawmakers want answers about what that deadly depth seventh attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya is all about. soon they may hear from secretary of state hillary clinton. she will testify before a house committee on a state department report expected next week. u.s. ambassador to libya chris stevens and three other americans were killed when the consulate was stormed three months ago. in britain, a prank call from an australian radio station to the hospital treating the duchess of cambridge has turned tragic. two deejays called the hospital, tricked a nurse to get information about katherine's condition. well, that nurse was found dead friday of an apparent suicide. she leaves behind a husband and two children. > the two deejays are suspended and the ceo of the station's parent company says he's confident his company did nothing illegal. and more now on that story. cnn's matthew chance joins us
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live. matthew, good morning. this story certainly generating outrage not only in britain but around the world. >> reporter: yeah, it certainly is. a lot of outrage, a lot of anger being expressed on the social media pages of the radio station in sydney, australia where the two deejays made their prank call from, also the nurse obviously has been named as jacintha saldanha, a 46-year-old mother of two. she was married from the english city of bristol but lived a short distance from here in the week where when she was working here at the edward vii hospital in central london in the staff quarters there. that's where her body was found. yeah, you're right. a lot of anger expressed on the social media about this. also a lot of sadness and sympathy being expressed with those associated with the death, first and foremost the duke and duchess of cambridge. they have issued a statement
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expressing their statement saying how wonderfully well in their words they were treated by the hospital staff during the time that katherine, the duchess of cambridge, was treated here for her very severe morning sickness. the hospital has come out as well, the management of the hospital saying that they are very regretful and sad about what happened and paying tribute to a nurse that was with them for the last four years and who they say treated hundreds of patients very well indeed. also, you mentioned the ceo of the company that owns that radio station in sydney that made the prank call. he's come out and issued his regret as well but also sort of indicating that he doesn't really think that even though it was in bad taste and ill-judged that any laws were broken by his two deejays making this prank call, so, again, a lot of sadness and regret being expressed. >> hard to imagine that it has taken the turn that it has. matthew chance, thank you very much. the supreme court is stepping right into the middle of the same-sex marriage debate. the justices have decided to
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hear two important cases which will no doubt have major ramifications. cnn's crime and justice correspondent joe johns has a look for us. >> reporter: randi, after weeks of speculation, the court decided to take up two cases on the issue of same-sex marriage. the first one is about the defense of marriage act, windsor against the united states. edith windsor and her partner were married in toronto, canada in 2007. spire died in 2009 in new york at a time when new york recognized same-sex marriages that had been performed outside the side. when spire died windsor was required to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance that she would not have had to pay if federal law had given their relationship the same status that opposite sex marriages get, so a pretty clean case here, an even the obama administration has already said it doesn't think the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act can withstand a legal attack.
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the second case the court decided to take on is proposition 8, the california ballot initiative adding a state constitutional amendment in 2008 that said only marriage between a man or woman is valid or recognized in california. it overturned a court ruling that said same-sex couples have a right to marry. the cases are likely to be heard in march and decided some time in june. randi? >> joe johns, thank you very much for that. we'll be right back. some are calling it the next "roe v. wade" or brown versus board of education. the issue the u.s. supreme court agreed to take on that will make history. all of those who argued for non-intervention because of the things that might happen have now happened because we failed to intervene. >> when is enough enough? that is the question many are asking about syria as the death toll climbs and concerns mount over chemical weapons.
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now some lawmakers are saying it may be too late to stop mass destruction. and could this be the end of "gangnam style" mania? why pop sensation psy is apologizing for some anti-american lyrics. [ telephones ringing ] at chevy's year-end event, we have 11 vehicles that offer an epa-estimated 30 mpg highway or better. yeah?
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good morning, washington. look at that lovely picture of the nation's capitol. doesn't look like too much action around there. certainly a quiet morning in washington. maybe they are thinking about the fiscal cliff. who knows. well, our focus today and this morning is syria which is important, not just because more than 40,000 have died in the 21-month conflict but because there are new fears that the government may unleash deadly chemical weapons on its own people. that means more lives could be
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lost, and for americans it means that the u.s. would probably take action. president obama, secretary of state clinton and defense secretary leon panetta have warned president bashar al assad that using chemical weapons crosses the red line. >> the world is watching. the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. >> so the question is what would that action look like? cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr has a look. >> reporter: randi, for defense secretary leon panetta, the major priority now is to try to determine syria's intent. does it intend to use chemical weapons? with the u.s. now believing the syrian government has chemical weapon-filled bombs, cnn has learned the pentagon is secretly updating military strike options for president obama in the event he orders action.
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a senior u.s. official tells cnn a strike could be carried out with the ships and aircraft already stationed in the region. the planning is being driven by the latest intelligence which u.s. officials say shows sarin gas has been loaded into aerial bombs in at least two locations. syria seems to have crossed the line drawn by the president last august. >> a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. >> reporter: this week that line seems to have shifted with warnings from the president, secretary of defense panetta and others fousing on what happens if assad uses the weapons. >> these lines become sort of pink lines, right, you know. they are not drawn with, you know, a fine pencil, and they move around a little. >> reporter: military options for striking syria spell out the case for why an attack might be
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called for. u.s. officials say there are multiple reports, more than just satellite imagery, confirming the aerial bombs. the regime is getting more desperate in recent days as fighting has raged around damascus, leaving to worries al assad could order a deadly strike that could kill thousands, and unlike iraq before the u.s. war, syria's chemical weapons program is openly acknowledged by that government. >> these weapons are meant to be used only and strictly in the event of external aggression against the syrian people. >> reporter: but the president will also be warned of the risk. civilians could be killed by a deadly release of gas if the sarin isn't all destroyed. syrian air defenses could bring down u.s. pilots if fighter jets are used. the regime could move its chemical weapons even minutes before an attack. and if the weapons start moving around, they become less secure,
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and that poses another dire consideration. officials worry terrorist groups could then move in and try and seize control of this deadly arsenal. randi? >> barbara starr, our thanks to you. so let's dig deeper into possible u.s. action in good morning. this summer on msnbc's "morning joe" you said the situation in syria is extraordinarily sensitive and, quote, not as horrible or dramatic as it is portrayed, but has the continued violence and the news now of the chemical weapons changed your opinion at all? >> well, first of all, the fact that they have chemical weapons has been known for quite some time. i think the hype is that they might use them, but is there any evidence that they are planning to use them and if so, against
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whom? the fighting is very sporadic. it's in various places. there is doubtless a great deal of social resentment against the regime, but fighting itself is not on a major front. it's not on an organized fashion. it is more like a guerrilla warfare. how do you use chemical weapons against that? >> well, cnn has learned that u.s. military options for potential strike against syria have now been updated after intelligence showed that the regime filled these aerial bombs with the deadly gas sarin. do you agree, sir, with the obama administration that chemical weapons are a red line and should be a red line? >> they are a perfectly reasonable red line, but they are only a red line if they are used. as of now there's no reporting, no information to the effect that they are being used against anyone, and it's hard to
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envisage how they could be used because if the resistance is scattered, sporadic, then how can you employ these weapons? it's not very likely to me, at least, that the regime will start poisoning itself, particularly in dmamascus which is a big city and which could be the object, but that would make absolutely no sense. >> is it simply too dangerous, do you think, for the u.s. to get involved in the region? i mean, you have iran, iraq, israel. they are all right there. >> i think the more serious issue which goes beyond the slightly hysterical hype is what sort of regime can be created in syria that is stable, and how do we avoid such fragmentation that the conflict in syria spills over into jordan and lebanon and conceivably also activates conflicts in iraq. this is the real danger, and not a lot of hysterical talk about imminent use of some sort of
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chemical weapons. >> i hear you saying hysterical talk and hype, but the bottom line is more than 40,000 people there have been killed, women and children. >> well, you know, first of all, 40,000 people have been killed probably somewhat on both sides because of acts of violence taking place this damascus as well and so forth. secondly, no one has counted them. we know historically that all such estimates made during conflict tend to be overstated. >> well, we know that our reporters certainly on the ground have seen some of it firsthand. >> well, they haven't counted them. the fact of the matter is these are estimates, and i can understand how in a serious conflict estimates are made quickly and they are at best an approximation. >> this week the secretary of state hillary clinton, she met with russia's foreign minister and the u.n. special envoy to syria. as you know, russia has blocked action against al assad at the u.n., but some have speculate that had moscow may be
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considering a different aprove. i mean, is russia stopping the u.s., do you think, from going into syria? >> i think the russians are beginning to realize that this problem simply cannot be ignored, and their passive stance on it simply doesn't provide for any constructive solution, so i hope that they will work with us on this, and i think the more international consensus we have on what is to be done, the less likely is the danger that the removal of the regime will result in the fragmentation of syria all together and regional conflicts erupting. that is the real danger, and that's what people should be concentrating on. >> you know, some have made the comparison that getting involved with syria or in syria is similar to us getting involved in libya and taking action against libya. do you see it that way? >> not quite. i supported strongly the position that the united states took on libya because there was an identifiable enemy, and there
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was also a real sign of an organized resistance movement in control of significant territory. when we got engaged in libya, half of libya was already in the hands of the insurgents, and insurgents had the government, had some military leadership that we could deal with. in effect, it was a viable alternative to gadhafi, and even in those good circumstances we still had difficulties in the deal, incidentally, so these things are always very sensitive. in syria it's much more fragmented, scattered, and different groups. a lot of the resistance, relatively speaking, a lot of the resistance, is also from groups that we have no contact with and that we strongly suspect are connected with extremist, fanatical fundamentalists or maybe even al qaeda elements. >> our thanks to you this
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morning, sir. thank you very much for your time. >> good to talk with you. >> nice to talk with you as well. >> thank you very much. >> much more on our focus next hour. if not the u.s., then who should step up in syria? i'll pose that question to former special middle east enjoy george mitchell coming up at 9:15 eastern time. so what is the future for pop star psy? he may have the most popular video in the history of youtube, but an old video surfaced of the rapper calling for the death of american troops serving in iraq. if you are one of the millions of men
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marriage across the entire united states. one of those cases is prop 8, the california ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage, even though lawmakers and state courts previously allowed it. the other case called windsor versus doma originated in new york and challenges the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act. we're going to talk about this a little bit more this morning, and we'll have our legal contributor paul callan discuss it with us right after this break. i always wait until the last minute. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. up high! ok. don't you have any usefull apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans?
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so let's get back to the discussion of the supreme court taking up the issue of gay marriage across the united states. i want to spring in cnn legal contributor paul callan. paul, good morning. >> good morning. >> so the supreme court decided to hear these two cases. what is the difference, and what would you say is really at stake for gays and heterosexuals really? >> this is a really big moment in one of the most important social issues facing the united states now, how do we treat gay couples? do we discriminate against them and allow them to marry the way heterosexuals do? what the court did in picking these cases, they have the choice of cases, the supreme court does, and they had ten cases in front of them. they picked two. they picked a california case and a new york case, and very interesting choices because the california case has to do with the use of state law to bar and ban homosexual marriage. the new york case has to do with
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whether federal law can be used to ban gay marriage. so if the court rules on both of these cases, it will be a sweeping court order that will cover federal, state regulations and could have the impact of really legalizing gay marriage throughout the united states or banning it possibly as well. >> so you have same-sex marriage though currently legal in several states. i mean, that could be overturned possibly? >> well, it would not be overturned in those individual states, but what could happen is since part of the case law going up to the court has to do with whether the federal government can refuse to recognize gay marriage, that's the new york case. in the new york case you have a couple that was tryi to collect benefits under federal law that only married couples can collect, and federal law, this defense of marriage act, now says that the federal government is not recognizing gay marriage. if they uphold that ban, then
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federal benefits would not be granted to gay couples, even in states where gay marriage is legal. that's -- that would be the impact there if that new york case goes forward. >> what about this interesting scenario? i mean, normally the justice department would represent the federal government before the supreme court to defend doma, the defense of marriage act, but since the president announced he supports same-sex marriage, who then would represent the u.s.? >> very interesting question. the obama administration justice department has said we are not going to fight to uphold this federal law. we don't believe in it, and normally it's, of course, the justice department that defends the government in cases, so what's happened now is congress has appointed a lawyer to represent the interests of congress which adopted the defense of marriage act and one of the things the court is looking at is does congress have the right to do that because under our current constitutional setup only the justice department representing the president gets to represent the
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government's position, so it's very, very interesting, and it all leads back to this thing that lawyers call standing and whether this is a live controversy in front of the court that the court would have the right to hear, so it gives them an escape hatch. if they don't want to decide -- let's say it gets too hot and heavy and they are arguing with each other and they can't make a decision, this is an escape hatch for the court and say, you know what? we're not going to decide this. there's not proper standing because of the justice department's position. >> i want to share with you some of our polling here at cnn showing american attitudes on same-sex marriage in their states, and it does show a slight majority approves at 49%. you see it there, versus the 46% who are against it. what influence, paul, do you think this could have on the supreme court, if any? i mean, is this the equivalent of the '60s interracial marriage ban that was overturned in the loving versus virginia case? i mean, is there any influence here? >> it's a very interesting question, and what's fascinating
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about this is years ago when they first came before the court, did this issue of whether it was legal to have laws that treated homosexuals in a different way than heterosexuals. the court is saying that's not even a question for consideration. it's not even a federal question. it's not even important enough for us to look at. in other words, they were saying that's ridiculous, and now clearly a majority of the american people think that it's an important right, and the court clearly thinks this is an important constitutional issue, so i think, yes. public opinion has pushed the court in a very clear direction, at least to the point where they take this very seriously now, and public opinion affects the court. it takes a long time for it to affect the court, but over the course of many, many years the attitudes of judges shift, just like citizens. >> it is a fascinating case. we'll continue to watch it along with you. paul callan, thanks very much. >> nice being with you.
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take care, randi. >> you, too. bottom of the hour now. glad you're with us, everyone. i'm randi kaye, and victor blackwell is off this morning. thanks for starting your morning with us. here are five stories that we're watching this morning. the supreme court has decided to take up two major same-sex marriage cases as we've been discussing. the first is the defense of marriage act. the 1996 law denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. right now there are 120,000 legally made same-sex couples in the u.s. the second is california's prop 8. that makes same-sex marriage illegal in the state. a decision is expected next year. in our second story, a royal hoax turns tragic as the nurse who received a prank called committed suicide. two australian radio hosts called a london hospital pretending to be queen elizabeth and prince chars and seeking information about the pregnant duchess of cambridge. they are now suspended from
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their jobs. the duke and duchess released a statement friday saying they are deeply saddened by the nurse's death. the secret service is red-faced today after revelations the agency lost sensitive computer tapes. the tapes, which contained information on agents and investigations, were accidentally left in a pouch on a subway train. it actually happened in 2008, but the tapes have never been found. an investigation is under way and changes to agency protocol have already been made. and number four, president obama is asking congress for $60.4 billion in emergency aid for superstorm sandy recovery. that request falls short of total damage estimates. governors from new york, new jersey and connecticut alone say they will need closer to 82 billion to fix their states. we don't know their names, but a couple from a phoenix suburb has presented the second winning ticket from last month's massive powerball drawing. the couple came forward now because they were concerned about, guess what, the looming
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fiscal cliff. they will take home 192 million bucks before taxes, and the plan is to use the money to start a foundation and support their favorite charities. more people out of work, and another recession. you want to know what's at the bottom of that fiscal cliff, well, there you have it. many say that what's going to happen if something isn't done soon, but guess what? alice rivlin has a plan. she's a senior fellow at the brookings institution and served as director of the white house office of management and budget, the omb, under president clinton. alice, good morning. >> good morning. >> nice to have you here on the show this morning. you're saying that it's too late for the lame duck congress to pass legislation to fix all the problems that exist, but you have created a framework for something that you call a grand bargain. what is it? >> well, it isn't just me. anybody who has looked at this problem, i was on the
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simpson/bowles commission and chaired another committee with senator domenici. everybody sees first that the budget is on an unsustainable course. we're on a course to accumulate more debt over the years and accumulate debt faster than the economy can grow. that's not sustainable. the grand bargain is that we have to do something about this, and the things we have to do are slow the growth of spending, especially the health care programs like medicare and medicaid for older people, and we need more revenue. we have to reform our tax system so we collect more revenue. it's not possible to do all of that between now and the end of the year when this fiscal cliff thing hits, but the government could put in place a framework. that's what they are arguing about now, what is the framework for the grand bargain that we
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will fill in the details in the next congress? >> one of the biggest fundamental reforms though that you say needs to happen is with those entitlement programs, so what exactly needs to change right now, and what would you say needs to stay? >> well, nobody is for abolishing medicare, for example. everybody is in favor of medicare. it's a very important program for seniors. it's paid the cost of health care for seniors over many years. we're going to have more seniors. that's part of the problem, and health care costs go up, so the program is going to be more expensive. the problem is to use those resources more effectively. we have very expensive health care in the united states, and that's partly because it's inefficient, so people on both sides are looking at ways of making medicare more efficient over time. that's changing the incentives
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that doctors and other providers have so that they are rewarded for good outcomes, for healthier patients rather than just for providing more services. i think everybody has agreed that's a good thing. they just have slightly different ways of going at it. >> let me ask you about this, because one of the things that you're calling for is an immediate freeze of discretionary defense spending. that is an amount of money congress picks each year for spending, but in 2011, discretionary spending totalled about $1.35 trillion, more than half of that spending was for defense. in a time, you know, when we're seeing these fences rise around the world, certainly syria, iran is continuing with its defiant nuclear program and north korea preparing to test fire ballistic missiles can we really afford to freeze defense funding, or should something else be cut? >> i'm not calling for a freeze
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in defense spending. we've already done that. that was in the budget control act of 2011, and what i am saying and others who have looked at this problem, we've done enough cutting in discretionary spending. that shouldn't be part of the current discussion, and, in fact, it isn't. the things that people are talking about now, specifically very important people like president obama and speaker boehner, is the tax code and these programs that we sometimes call entitlements, medicare, medicaid and social security. those are the things that are on the table at the moment, not defense. unless the bargain fails, unless the two sides cannot get together and then the thing that will happen, and it will happen quickly, are drastic cuts in
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defense and domestic spending and an automatic increase in taxes. that is what must be avoided. just because the economy couldn't take it at this stage. we've had relatively slow growth in the economy, and though it seems to be picking up and the last jobs report was quite favorable, having a crash austerity program right now, that's what the fiscal cliff is, would be a big mistake. so the two sides have to get together on this grand bargain. >> well, we certainly hope they do. alice rivlin, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. switching gears now. what is the future for the pop star psy? he may have the most popular video in the history of youtube, but an old video surfaced for the rapper calling for the death of american troops. we'll explain next. that's right. i've learned the only way to get a holiday deal is to camp out. you know we've been open all night.
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. welcome back. 43 mijts past the hour. korean pop star psy making headlines for a whole other reason than you might think this morning. his music video may be the most watched video in youtube history with nearly a billion hits, but now a 2004 video surfaced for psy calling for, yes, the deaths of american soldiers in iraq. what's this all about? well, let get the scoop from nick valencia joining me now to talk more about this. what's going on? this is from a cnn i-report that this first surfaced? >> surfaced back in october. happened eight years ago so a lot of people are saying how relevant is it now, but he made the comments in 2004 after this was a south korean missionary kidnapped in iraq. he was later executed after negotiations -- there was a refusal for negotiations.
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a lot of people blamed the u.s. occupation in iraq for the death of this missionary. psy was among those critics. he took to a rap and rapped these lyrics. some of them, randi, kill those f'ing yankees who have been torturing iraqi captives. >> pretty disturbing stuff. >> but he did issue an apology saying while i'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self. i'm learned there are limits and i will forever be sorry for the pain those words caused. >> didn't he also smash an american mock tank on stage? >> he did. watching the video earlier before coming on set. he smashes the tank using its mike, sort of bashed up the remaining bits on stage and made some other comments as well back in 2002 after there was two teenage south korean girls run over by a u.s. army vehicle so it's two incidents that we're real talking about here that surfaced. again, a lot of people saying this happened eight years ago. how relevant is it now? >> sometimes people, he's a big star and extremely popular, video most watched on youtube,
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but could this have an effect on his career? >> sort of dual approaches. one side saying they respect him more now that he's come out and criticized. >> he did jump right on it. >> did this pr blitz here. there's also though an upcoming performance at the white house and will perform in front of president barack obama. some have signed a petition on whitehouse.gov to say he shouldn't perform. >> the president is supposed to attend that. we'll see. thank you. john travolta and olivia newton john go back to their "grease" roots and pot smokers rejoice. it all happened in five chaotic days. we'll catch you up on the week that was, but first if your cell phone or other tech devices need recharging, new technology makes you the energy generator. cnn's gary tuchman explains in this week's "start small, think big." >> my name is aaron lemieux. i'm founder and ceo of tremont electric and the inven earth of
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the n power peg >> reporter: designed for hikers, bikers or anyone on the go. >> as you walk along it harvests and stores your human kinetic energy and recharges your mobile electronic devices from the energy that it harvests from you. >> peg stands for personal energy generator. >> demonstrate it simply by standing here and walking in place. >> reporter: aaron lemieux dreamed up the ideas as an engineering student in 1996. ten years later he quit his day job and started making the peg. >> he definitely started small. one person with his wife's blessing working alone in the basement full time. >> reporter: for every minute of motion lemieux says the n power peg can juice you will a small mp 3 player and more hungry devices like smartphones take 15 minutes of walking to get you one minute of talking. >> this is where we were a couple years ago and this is where we are now. >> reporter: and the technology could get bigger, wa bigger.
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>> we ultimately see the n power technology being scaled up to the size of an automobile and placed inside of a buoy out on the ocean and instead of harvesting human walking motion we're able to harvest the wave motion. >> reporter: a single buoy could power at least 20 homes. i always wait until the last minute. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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welcome back, everyone. president obama and the republicans look to make a deal. the royal couple makes a baby, and a new law makes some pot smokers very happy. a look back now at the week that was. >> 26 days left, of course,
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until we tumble over the cliff. >> now we need a response from the white house. >> i will not play that game. >> it's official. kate middleton is pregnant. >> obviously, you know, we want a family. >> the whole globe's press will be in london waiting for this little baby. >> smoke them if you've got them. >> now we're smoking weed. >> i'm not a criminal anymore. i'm free to be free. >> a little pot, a big pregnancy and, of course, politics dominated this week that was. a week that began with this. >> a reasonable offer to the white house that would avert the fiscal cliff. >> the president politely declined. >> when you look at the math, it doesn't work. >> it's just common sense. >> at least the two sides are talking. >> oh, they are talking all right. >> the president actually isn't interested in a balanced agreement. >> the only people who aren't aboard are republicans in congress. >> another republican this week trying a different tact.
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>> "gangnam style." >> god bless us, everyone. >> all right. this is the kind of breaking news we love to bring to you. >> and we've got breaking news. >> over and over again, in case you didn't hear. >> prince william and his wife katherine are expecting a baby. >> i'm sure they will make absolutely brilliant parents. >> i'm glad my daughter-in-law is getting better. >> after kate was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum. >> a case of hyperemesis gravidarum. >> hyperemesis gravidarum which means you throw up a lot. >> thanks, barbara. >> today recreational marijuana is officially legal. >> in washington state, at least, so smoke up if you're so inclined. >> it's amazing. i'm not a criminal anymore. i can't go to jail for small amounts of marijuana. >> almost the entire west coast and all of new england is going to move in this direction. >> same-sex marriage also officially legal in washington this week. >> i think of all the people who have worked very hard and looked
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forward to this day. >> and if you're a "grease" fan you have this to look forward to. ♪ i got a little plan to you ♪ let's do a little dance we do ♪ >> danny and sandy together again, teaming up for a new christmas album, a firsthand this music video is any indication, let's just say it will be one of a kind. and that's the week that was. when traveling to other cities and countries, the best way to get a real taste of the place is, of course, through the local food. cnn's i-report has now teamed up with "travel & leisure" magazine to create a global list of 100 places to eat like a local. >> reporter: i'm dan rivers in bangkok, and when i want to eat local on a rainy afternoon,
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there's nothing better than wong lee. they do amazing seafood here. fancy eating that. and rice, what else would you suggest? do you have any prawns? my favorite dish is the crispy pork. how do you get the pork so crispy? >> leave it one hour and then we clean with water and then make it dry first and then fry in many oil. this soup here very famous. >> yeah, lemon grass and mushroom and lemon. >> mm-hmm. >> and a little bit of milk. >> and it's quite spicy as well.
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>> spicy is the chili. we have many, 200. >> 200 different recipes on the menu. it's very popular. >> popular. >> j y is it so popular. why do so many people come here? >> cheap. >> reporter: cheap. >> cheap and fresh and delicious. >> reporter: right. so the places and guidebooks are for tourists. come here to nugan lee if you want to eat like a local. [ male announcer ] this december, remember -- what starts with adding a friend... ♪ ♪
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new job numbers, fiscal cliff talks, legalized marijuana, all the news was fodder for late night comedians this week. >> some good news, some good news. the u.s. unemployment rate is now the lowest it's been in four years. or as makers of sweatpants put it, uh-oh. climate rate has fallen through its lowest level in nearly four years. the bad news, most of those jobs involve wearing a red suit, a beard and having a kid pee in your lap. >> house speaker john bainers says his efforts to work with president obama on the fiscal cliff have resulted in a lot of talk but no action. yeah. a lot of talk but no action, or as they call that in college a
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date. >> good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. victor is off today. it's 9:00 on the east coast. 6:00 a.m. out west. thanks so much for starting your day with us. we start this morning with the supreme court and the decision to hear two major cases on same-sex marriage. justices will hear arguments against the federal government's defense of marriage act and california's proposition eight. prop 8 banned same-sex marriage in california while the defense of marriage act or doma as it's called denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. a decision on both cases could be reached by june. it is one of the oldest radio pranks going. the hosts make a call pretending to be someone else, but the call that two australian deejays made to the hospital treating the duchess of cambridge has turned deadly. they tricked a nurse to get information about katherine's condition. well, two days later that nurse committed suicide. her body was discovered on friday. the ceo of the radio station's
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parent company says he's confident the deejays did nothing illegal, but they have been taken off the air. prince william and dutch eskatherine released a statement friday saying they are deeply saddened by the nurse's death. internet security pioneer john mcafee could be released from an immigration detention center in guatemala as soon as next week. a judge is allowing him to stay in the country until his immigration case is heard. he was arrested in guatemala after weeks on the run. he is seeking -- belize is seeking mcafee's deport a. authorities there want to question him about his neighbor's murder. mcafee argueding with his neighbors about the dogs barking but insists he had nothing to do with the man's death. under new washington state law are you not allowed to smoke marijuana in public but one olimpia bar owner has found a way for patrons to legally light up. friends of frankie's is a private smoke club above a bar where the ten bucks a year -- just for ten bucks a year anyone
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of age can smoke tobacco or marijua marijuana. some love it, but let's just say others are against this change. >> i don't like the smell of it. i don't like being around it, and to me you get those young kids up here drinking and smoking and just asking for trouble. >> to washington, d.c. now and the fiscal cliff negotiation. the back and forth between both sides hasn't been complimentary. quite the opposite, in fact, which means the country needs to prepare for what comes next. that would be automatic spending cups and the expiration of bush era tax breaks. the pentagon has been preparing, and as our john callan reports, so have families who have a whole lot to lose if a deal doesn't get done. >> reporter: jeremy connor, married father of two. >> i've worked recently for a very large defense contractor, and my wife works for that same defense contractor. >> reporter: he left that job after 18 years for more stability since the couple both
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worked in the same department. >> the discussion of the fiscal cliff just made sense for one of us to get out. >> you know, we didn't know what it looked like down the road, if we were even going to have jobs at all. >> reporter: pentagon's budget for the next ten years has already been flashed $500 billion, and could face another half trillion in automatic cuts if congress fails to compromise on a deficit-reducing agreement by year's end. >> we need stability. we want a strong national defense for this country, i need to have some stability, and that's what i'm asking the congress to do, give me some stability with regards to the funding of the defense department for the future. >> the biggest effect caused by all of the government indecision, the inability to pass a budget, the looming sequestration is uncertainty. >> reporter: his small company of 40 employees manufacturers drones, mounts it with cameras for the military and first responders. >> what do we do? do we contract the business?
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do we try to hold the business constant? do we try to diversify into other market segments? every small business in the country is asking those fundamental questions. >> want to see it? >> part of the reason i was brought in there was to diversify the type of work that they do. they want to look more on the commercial side as well. >> reporter: despite confidence with their jobs, the unknown is nerve racking. >> with christmas coming up and some other big decisions as far as home and new vehicles and things like that, you know, we've -- we're definitely waiting until the new year, so we'll see how that cliff goes. >> reporter: jeremy is glad with his decision to stabilize his family. he just wishes congress would do the same with the country. >> like our 5-year-old and 3-year-old and at sometimes it seems like they will fight and fight and fake for the sake of fighting when all most people
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loss. our very own arwa damon is risking her life there to bring us stories from the ground, and here's her latest report on just how bad things are getting for locals still trying to live their lives in the middle of a war zone. >> reporter: it's hard to fully absorb the scale of the devastation here, how entire buildings seemed to have folded down upon themselves, and then one continues to see traces of the lives of the civilians that called these buildings home, like the clothing that's just hanging right there or children's books like this one, the pages of it that we picked up from the rubble. but this conflict can be surreal. just a couple of blocks away, the local barber shop is open, as are a handful of other stores. women crowd around us, eager to talk but not be filmed. both sides have hurt us, wronged us, one says. basic supplies are available
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here, although prices have skyrocketed. bread, bread, we want it so badly, it's like a drug, this woman tells us. if someone has breakfast, they can't afford dinner. please, have mercy, they beg. on the street we meet four boys. they ask if we think it's safe enough for them to go back home. they talk of tanks firing and seeing other children lose limbs. they say what they have witnessed has made them all decide to be doctors, to save the victims of war. >> and the conflict in syria may be close to reaching a whole new level. that level would be the u.s. of chemical weapons against the syrian opposition. it's been a red line for the white house, and it's a growing concern for congressional leaders. >> the longer this conflict has
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gone, the worse it has gotten. all of those who argued for non-intervention because of the things that might happen have now happened because we failed to intervene. and the fact is that we have now reached a point where there are weapons of mass destruction that may be used and also there is a significant question about the security of these weapons, should bashar assad fall. >> we've sat for too long on the sidelines. we're now as americans getting engaged. the need for engagement and more than that urgent action is clear and now, and i think we're all saying to president obama, who has now stated very clearly that will be drastic consequences for assad and his government if they use chemical and biological weapons, we're with you. >> joining me now is george mitchell, the former senator and former middle east peace envoy
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for president obama. senator, good morning. just last month in a speech in tennessee you said the u.s. should stay out of syria. given this new information and the threat of chemical weapons, do you still believe the u.s. should stand aside? >> i believe the united states should not intervene militarily in syria, that's what i said. i do not favor standing aside, and there are many other ways in which we can and have been involved, primarily diplomatically, economically and supporting other of our allies who are providing direct assistance to the rebels in syria, but i want to remind people. we just finished a ten-year war in iraq. we're trying to end a 12-year war in afghanistan. a military intervention by the united states now to have a third war in the middle east going i think would be a mistake, and it wouldn't solve the problem. that's the central issue. it wouldn't solve the problem. you said 40,000 people have died in your preparatory report here.
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that's true. that's a terrible tragedy. every one of them. but 5 million people have died in the congo. should we intervene there? of course not. people want us to intervene in somalia, in the sudan, other places. we have to be very careful about starting wars in far-flung places every time there's a serious tragedy. >> the conflict though, as you know, has already spilled over the borders into turkey and lebanon. and when you talk about getting involved, i mean, if not the united states, then who does need to get involved militarily? >> well, i don't think it's going to be resolved by outside military intervention. one of the problems in syria was a problem in lebanon. it's a problem in other parts of the middle east, is that these conflicts are extended and continued by outside actions, in effect proxy wars being fought by neighbors who pour arms and money into the region. right now iran is pouring millions of dollars in a lot of people and arms into syria to prop up assad's regime.
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governments are doing it on the other side. i think that the regime will fall. i think there's going to be a very long and difficult internal struggle for governance after that occurs, and we should be preparing the ground, as i think the administration is trying to do, for a unified opposition force that will bring about change peacefully after assad's regime falls, but i repeat, direct american military intervention in my judgment will not solve the problem and will entangle us yet further in conflicts in far-flung countries where it's very difficult to sustain support in this country. >> and from what i understand, you've actually met with president assad in the past. what is your sense of him and what he might do here? there's some reports he has a deputy out there checking on possible asylum in other countries, but he's also said he's going to live and die on
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syrian soil. >> well, i met him on several occasions. i think right now principal concern is survival for himself, his family and the clan. the alawhites are an offshoot of the shiia part of the muslim religion, relatively small, 10%, 12% of the population of syria. they have long dominated through assad and his father the more than 80% who are sunni muslims, and so i think that his concern is that once his government falls, both he, his family, his clan will be the victims of a strong desire for revenge. so my hope is that it will end soon and peacefully and that there will not be a bloodbath in return, although that's a real danger that exists. >> senator george mitchell, thank you very much for your time this morning. >> thanks for having me. >> next hour i'll talk with par christiane amanpour. we'll discuss how the president is moving the red line on syria.
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is it a dangerous message to send? that's at 10:15 eastern time this morning. a law designed to protect native american families has ripped this little girl away from the two parents who love her. now they are petitioning the supreme court to take up this custody battle. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+.
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20 minutes past the hour now. a married couple has filed a petition with the u.s. supreme court seeking custody of a little girl that they plan to adopt. all was on track until the lower courts ruled her biological father could have her back. it is one of the strangest adoption cases i've ever seen, and as you'll see in my report, it all comes down to a little
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known law designed to protect native american children. >> this is video from the last time matt and melanie saw their little girl veronica, new year's eve 2011. they had raised her for two years and were in the process of adopting her when a south carolina family court ordered them to hand her over to the girl's biological father. >> do you think this is in her best interest? >> i think so. >> a man veronica had never even met. >> for a little girl to be put in the car with strangers and driven to oklahoma and having no recourse or control over it, i mean, you know, we're her parents. i'm her father, you know. i'm supposed there to protect her. >> you want to be an engineer when you grow up? >> yes. >> now 3 veronica is caught in the middle of one of the strangest adopgs adoption cases we've ever heard. it all began in 2009 before she
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was born when veronica's biological mother put her up for adoption. the couple were thrilled when an adoption attorney connected them with veronica's biological mom. she told them the girl's father, dustin brown, agreed to waive his parental rights. when veronica was born, it was matt who cut the umbilical cord. ever since she had lived with them in south carolina. >> i guess people think that we're not supposed to love her until the ink is dry. we're supposed to kind of care for her until, you know, everything is, you know, years down the line and she's adopted >> reporter: couple was heartbroken when four months after they brought veronica home her biological father filed for paternity and custody, even though he had already signed a legal document saying he would not contest veronica's adoption. he was able to do so thanks to a little known federal law from 1978 called the indian child welfare act. you see, brown is part cherokee
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and a member of the cherokee nation which means veronica is part cherokee, too. congress passed the law after finding 30% of indian children were being removed from their homes and almost all of them were being placed with non-indian families. the law is designed to keep indian children with indian family members and protect the interests of those children. >> i don't know how tearing a child away from the only family she's ever known without any transition period and no visitation is in her best interest. >> the attorney general for the cherokee nation thinks the law is working. >> it's never anyone's intent to -- to rip a child away from a loving home, but we want to make sure those loving homes have the opportunity to be indian homes first. >> after the family court ruled in dustin brown's favor, the couple petitioned the south carolina supreme court hoping the higher court would overturn
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the ruling. in july after more than three months of waiting the couple got more bad news. the supreme court here in south carolina ruled in favor of veronica's biological father. it wasn't an easy decision for the court though. the justices were split 3-2. in the majority opinion they wrote they are upholding the family court's ruling with a heavy heart. the majority opinion concluded the biological father and his family have created a safe, loving and appropriate home for her. those in the dissenting opinion argued federal law shouldn't trump state law finding father knowingly abandoned his parental responsibilities in every respect. lawyers for dustin brown say, quote, he is a good parent and veronica is happy, healthy and thriving. since she went to live with her biological father, the couple say they have only been allowed to speak with her once. >> we told her we loved her, and
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she said i love you, too, and that was it. >> but matt and melanie haven't given up. they are taking their case to the united states supreme court. >> you don't ever stop fighting for your child, ever. >> the united states supreme court, according to our legal experts, doesn't take that many cases. they get 7,000 cases a year, and they take about 80. why do you think they should take this one? >> so many families have been hurt by the misuse of this law, and, you know, we've said before, too, we don't think it's necessarily a bad law or bad intentions, but it's definitely being misused. it doesn't apply. she wasn't remove for an existent indian home. never with an indian home. with us from the very beginning. >> this is her home. >> and in some ways veronica is still with them. her bedroom is still set up. >> i look around and i see her toys and her books and her little cook set. >> it makes it harder, but
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taking it away is the hardest. >> you know, this is her home. it will always be her home, but she's going to come home and going to play with stuff again. >> it's a symbol of our hope that she's coming home. >> and next hour the couple will join me to talk about their petition to the supreme court and their hope that they will be able to see veronica again. will we see history tonight in new york city? the heisman trophy will be awarded at the downturn athletic club. why the presentation could be a first. cations doesn't hurt. and a santa to boot! [ chuckles ] right, baby. oh, sir. that is a customer. oh...sorry about that. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. fedex office. olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day!
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